Country Hill Motors Vehicle Buying Center Case Study
Vehicle sourcing is the cornerstone of any successful dealership strategy. Buying the right inventory — at the right price — is critical to thriving in today’s auto market.
Country Hill Motors (CHM) spent years using a sourcing strategy that kept profits steady, however as the market became more competitive, something had to change. General Manager Danny Zaslavsky realized there was a better way to acquire inventory.
Three years later, the dealership saw a significant increase in their front-end gross and inventory turn rate.
“How Do I Sell More Cars and Make More Money?”
Zaslavsky was born into the car business. He started working at his family’s dealership at 14, and has been hearing the same question throughout his career: “How do I sell more cars and make more money?”
The answer, he said, starts with inventory. “If you buy right, selling is never the problem,” he explained. “The challenge is, buying the right inventory gets harder as the internet continues commoditizing the industry.”
However, used inventory is an exception. “Used cars are tougher to commoditize,” he said. “Things like vehicle histories, dealer-exclusive items such as reconditioning and certification allow you to compete on value, not just price.”
The Key to Better Sourcing: Buying from the Public
When Zaslavsky first took over sourcing for CHM, he had a hard time adjusting to auction buying, “They are hard, high pressure and I always feel like I pay more than I want. I just don’t enjoy them.”
He started looking at other options and was immediately struck by the success of businesses like CarMax, Vroom and Carvana. “It didn’t take long to figure out the secret to their success,” he said. “Every dealer in the country knows you make more money on trade-ins that you buy right. Buying from the public is no different.”
Zaslavsky decided to reverse-engineer their strategy for his own dealership. The result: an in-house VBC.
Building a Vehicle Buying Center
“We started with a commitment to eventually being able to buy 100 cars a month through our VBC,” Zaslavsky said. “Our first quarter’s goal was 20 per month.”
To accomplish this, CHM turned their VBC set-up into a multi-step process. This included dedicating a section of their website to buying from the public and hiring full-time VBC agents.
Zaslavsky turned to a market intelligence tool that is responsible for getting their VBC off the ground, “There were so many moving parts, we needed to rely on a company to make much of it work,” he said. Zaslavsky also used third-party lead generators.
Buy the Cars You Want and Need
It’s been three years since CHM launched their VBC, and the results speak for themselves: CHM now averages $1,200 more per copy on the front-end for every vehicle they sell that was purchased through their VBC as compared to auction purchases. Not only that, their turn has been cut nearly in half — down to 22 days from 40 on VBC purchases.
Any Dealership Can Build a VBC
According to Zaslavsky, it’s possible for other dealerships to see the same results — all they need are the right tools and process.
“If you’re wanting to build your own VBC, I recommend use a company in which their platform comes with the strategy and features you need to streamline the entire process.”